Skip Navigation
HCC Main Campus
10901 Little Patuxent Parkway
Columbia MD, 21044
Laurel College Center
312 Marshall Avenue, Suite 205
Laurel, MD 20707
Gateway Business Training Center
6751 Columbia Gateway Drive
Columbia MD, 21046
Take a Virtual Tour
Take an interactive look at HCC's campus

James W. Rouse Scholars Program

James W. Rouse Scholars LogoDiscover the Rouse Advantage

The James W. Rouse Scholars Program is a selective, challenging honors and leadership program for graduating high school seniors. As part of specialized honors seminars, Rouse Scholars explore themes of personal identity and leadership, community and belonging, and social justice. For over two decades, this acclaimed program has prepared students for transfer to many of the nation’s most distinguished colleges and universities to complete the junior and senior year of their bachelor’s degree. 

Scholarship. Leadership. Partnership. Friendship.

As a Rouse Scholar, you'll progress through your two-year degree as part of a close-knit honors learning community, sharing the advantages of a rigorous honors curriculum, personalized advising, international study-abroad opportunities, and community service projects.  Scholars also benefit from extensive leadership development and career mentoring.

Learn how to apply to the Rouse Scholars Program

  • Eligibility

    Rouse Eligibility

    HCC reviews honors candidates from a holistic perspective. In general we expect successful candidates to demonstrate:

    • Challenging high school academic course load, including honors, GT, Advanced Placement, and/or International Baccalaureate coursework
    • Evidence of critical thinking, service rendered, and other potential factors

    Intellectual interests, extracurricular activities, including those outside of school are also considered.  Each applicant's essay, recommendations, and other indications of excellence are important factors in the selection process.

  • Curriculum

    Rouse Curriculum

    Rouse Scholars major in many different areas and have different course requirements depending on their major. Over the course of four semesters as a Rouse Scholar, students participate in a weekly 1-credit seminar that explores themes of individual identity, community responsibility and social justice.

    Seminars also focus on different areas of career development, teamwork, and the transfer process.  In addition, Rouse Scholars are expected to complete 15 credits in honors courses, determined by their major. This curriculum allows students to develop and apply their personal leadership to current issues and for the benefit of their peers and the community.

  • Transfer

    Transfer Institutions and Special Partnerships

    Rouse Scholars are accepted to many of the finest institutions in the nation, both in Maryland and out of state.

    The James W. Rouse Scholars Program enjoys special partnerships with numerous colleges and universities. Wherever 'there' is for you "You can get there from here" in the Rouse Scholars Program!

    The following is a sampling of the many colleges and universities that have accepted graduates of the Rouse Scholars Program.

    • American University
    • Bennington College
    • Boston College
    • Boston University
    • California State University, Long Beach
    • Catholic University
    • College of Charleston
    • College of Notre Dame of Maryland
    • Cornell University
    • Dickinson College
    • Flagler College
    • Florida State University
    • Fordham University
    • The George Washington University
    • Georgia Institute of Technology
    • Howard University
    • Indiana University of PA
    • The Johns Hopkins University
    • The Ohio State University
    • Loyola College in Maryland
    • Mt. Holyoke College
    • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
    • Rhode Island School of Design
    • Ringling School of Art and Design
    • Rochester Institute of Technology
    • San Francisco State University
    • Shippensburg University
    • Smith College
    • St. Mary's College
    • Syracuse University
    • University of California, Santa Cruz
    • University of Charleston
    • University of Delaware
    • University of Maryland, Baltimore County - Honors Program
    • University of Maryland, College Park - Honors Program
    • University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
    • University of South Florida
    • University of Vermont
    • University of Virginia
    • Washington College
    • Washington University at St. Louis
    • Wentworth Institute
    • Western Kentucky University
    • Yale University

    The Rouse Advantage

    Rouse Scholars have gone on to medical school, MBA Programs, divinity schools, law school, and masters and doctoral programs. And they have entered a very broad range of fields, including the entertainment industry, education, engineering and so many more.

  • Travel

    Rouse Travel Opportunities

    Rouse Scholars have some very unique opportunities to travel near and far. Opportunities to travel individually, in a group, or with a friend are all possible.


    The James W. Rouse Scholars Program has a required annual retreat prior to the start of the fall semester. Retreats are an opportunity for Rouse freshmen and sophomores, faculty and staff to learn more about one another and form the friendships and associations unique to the Rouse Scholars.

    National and International Travel

    Rouse Scholars are provided with opportunities and partial scholarships to support both national and international travel as part of:

    • HCC study abroad programs to destinations including Ireland, France, Bermuda, Italy, China and many more.
    • Alternative Winter and Spring Break trips.
    • Customized study abroad opportunities supported via the Schulte Travel Fellowship.
    • Study abroad opportunities with partnering four-year institutions including Dickinson College and the College of Notre Dame.


Giving makes a difference! Your support helps students along their pathways to success.